Creamy Red Lentil Soup with Lemon Tahini Drizzle
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 40 minutes Yields: 4 people
2 tablespoons olive oil; more to drizzle at end
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of smoked paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils, picked through for stones and debris
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1/4 cup snow pea shoots (optional)
1/4 cup Tahini
2/3 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1. Pour olive oil into a large pot on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions. Cook until golden and translucent, but not browned - about three to four minutes.
2. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, smoked paprika cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for another two minutes.
3. Add the broth, water, the lentils, and the carrot. Bring to a boil, and then partially cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
4. Once the soup is simmering, combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until incorporated. Set aside. After about 30 minutes, the lentils should be soft and creamy, the carrots tender. Taste, salt if necessary, and then, once cooled slightly, carefully pour into a blender. Do this in batches, and cover the lid of the blender with a towel before turning it on. Don't worry about getting the soup completely smooth - the chunkiness will give it character.
5. Return to the pot, reheat if necessary, add the lemon juice and stir.
6. To serve, pour into bowls, sprinkle optional snow pea shoots and cilantro, a drizzle of good olive oil and a drizzle of the tahini lemon dressing.
Credit: Adapted from Liesl van Eeden